Dale L. White, Sr., Papers

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.2013.0050
Creators:
White, Dale L., Sr., 1899-1977
Dates:
1932-2013
bulk 1932-1939
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2.26 linear feet
2 legal-sized boxes; 1 flat box
Repository:
The Dale L., White, Sr., Papers consist of material relating to the aviation career of Dale L. White, Sr., including his attendance at the Curtiss Wright Aeronautical University and his piloting of the "Goodwill Flight" from Chicago, Illinois, to Washington, DC, to lobby for African-Americans to be able to join the US Army Air Corps. The bulk of the collection covers his flying years between 1932 and 1941, though personal materials from a later date are also included. Materials included are photographs, negatives, telegrams, a scrapbook, aeronautical textbooks, aeronautical notebook, DVDs, newspaper and magazine articles, pilot log books, pilot licenses, and related information.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists material relating to the aviation career of Dale L. White, Sr., including his attendance at the Curtiss Wright Aeronautical University and his piloting of a 1939 "Goodwill Flight" from Chicago, Illinois, to Washington, DC, to lobby for African-Americans to be able to join the US Army Air Corps. The collection also contains information on other important African-American aviators, including: Chauncey Spencer, White's navigator for the "Goodwill Flight;" Willa Brown; and John Charles Robinson, "The Brown Condor of Ethiopia."
The following types of material are included: photographs, negatives, telegrams, scrapbook, aeronautical textbooks, aeronautical notebook, newspaper and magazine articles, pilot log books, pilot licenses, DVDs and three mini-DV master video tapes with Chauncey Spencer (stored in the audiovisual collection), and related information.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection has been arranged into three series: Series 1, Career and African-Americans in Aviation; Series 2, Personal Materials; and Series 3, Aeronautical Education Materials.
The collection did not have any particular order when received by the NASM Archives. Archivists have organized the documents by topic then by date.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Dale L. White, Sr., (1899-1977) was a prominent African-American pilot, who, along with Chauncey Spencer, flew a 1939 "Goodwill Flight" from Chicago, Illinois, to Washington, DC, to lobby for African-Americans to be able to join the US Army Air Corps.
Born in Minden, Louisiana, White moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1930. In 1932, he started to attend the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University. On August 18, 1933, White began his flight training and he received his license in June 1936. For the next decade, White was very active in Chicago African-American flying circles and was a member of the Challenger Air Pilots Association (CAPA), a group organized by Chicago-area African-American aviation enthusiasts.
In the spring of 1939, the CAPA decided to organize a "Goodwill Flight" to Washington, DC, to lobby for a change in legislation so the African-Americans could join the US Army Air Corps. Dale White was chosen to be the pilot and Chauncey Spencer was selected as the navigator for this flight. With a CAPA-secured rental of a Lincoln (Aircraft) Page LP-3 (New Swallow) biplane, White and Spencer left Chicago on May 8, 1939, for their 3000 mile round-trip. During their time in Washington, DC, White and Spencer had a scheduled meeting with Senators Slatttery and Everett Dirksen and chance meeting with then Senator Harry S. Truman, who in 1948 integrated the armed services by presidential order. After returning from their successful trip, White was chosen to drop a wreath on the grave of aviator Bessie Coleman, located in Lincoln Cemetery, Chicago, on a May day designated, "The Spirit of the late Bessie Coleman."
In August of 1939, the CAPA broadened its scope and was incorporated as the National Negro Airman's Association of America (NAAA), and White was elected to be vice president. During the rest of 1939, White made numerous flights in and around Chicago.
In 1940, White became an aircraft mechanic at Wright Patterson Field in Dayton, Ohio. White did not join the Tuskegee Airman as he was too old to apply, but he did continue to fly until June 1941, when he quit flying at the request of his wife. He retired from Wright Patterson in 1971 and died in 1977.

Administration
Processing Note
Arranged and described by Elizabeth Borja, 2015. Encoded by Elizabeth Borja, 2016.
Author
Elizabeth C. Borja
Acquisition Information
Donated Dale L. White, Jr., gift, 2013.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Conditions Governing Use
Permissions Requests
Preferred Citation
Dale L. White, Sr., Papers Collection, Accession 2013-0050, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- Flights Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American air pilots Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/